‘Another Fine Mesh’: Paul’s ART STUFF ON A TRAIN #160

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Alice Cattaneo: ‘Untitled’, 2012

London has enough galleries to make it easy enough to find another show to relate to any given one.

All the same, I was surprised to find not just two exhibitions within two hundred meters in which upcoming artists make effective yet contrasting uses of mesh – as form, and as screen; in sculpture and on paintings – but also the great precedent of François Morellet at the Mayor Gallery (the French 90 year old has fine shows there and at Annely Juda). Rosenfeld Porcini (‘lifting the veil’ to 27 May) step into the trendy zone of all-woman shows with 11 choices cohering around a fragile sense of the precious. Italian sculptor Alice Catteneo, who perhaps fits that least, pushes aspects of Anthony Caro and Philip King towards vulnerability: coiled acetate gets trapped under iron; wire mesh intercedes delicately. The combination of differently-weighted materials – which she describes as ‘in between found and looked-for’ – generates a poised tension. TJ Boulting’s new show (‘Encounters’ to 7 May) is solo, yet also rather varied: partly because London-based South African HelenA Pritchard has so many ideas; partly because of the contrast she builds between TJ Boulting’s two spaces. The bigger room is close to white cube, with a few works spaciously distributed: the smaller is packed with a lively interplay of far more paintings, light effects with colour filters, items refracted and several pot plants. The signature material of the many used in her painting-objects is mesh, which covers years-worth of largely unseen layers, evidenced by the still-visible edges of the older applications as the viewer is tempted voyeuristically in, only to be denied full access. Moreover, HelenA (she’s not a Helena, but a Google-disambiguated Helen) uses multiple meshes – black embroidery fabric, net curtain material, a fine steel grid – to divergent effects.

*and Carroll/Fletcher have a very forward-looking group show called ‘Dense Mesh’!

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HelenA Pritchard: ‘Square Triangle’, 2006-15

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François Morellet’s mesh work ‘3 trames 0º, -22º5, +22º5’, 1971

Most days art Critic Paul Carey-Kent spends hours on the train, traveling between his home in Southampton and his day job in London. Could he, we asked, jot down whatever came into his head?

About Paul Carey-Kent

Art critic and curator, based near Southampton. I write most regularly for Art Monthly, Frieze, Elephant, State, Photomonitor... and, of course, FAD.